Friday, October 21, 2005

Do you love standards?

I love standards and I think everyone should too! Coming from a generation of the marketing era where everyone is differentiating and niche marketing, there just isn't the common ground for people to communicate with each other.

In fact, there is an additional layer of intepretation that needs to be developed just to overcome this concept of being special. Firewire, I-Link or IEEE 1394 for the other losers who couldn't patent a name for themselves, we all know are the same thing now, but think about all the marketing dollars that went into us making us realise that it is the same thing after all. Think about how many times the guy at the shop has to repeat himself about this. Can that have been prevented? The answer is "Yes, but why should I?". The ones who patent the name have a "differentiated" product when though it is the exact same thing as the next.

The next question, should big organisations, like microsoft for example, play well with others? Why, of course not silly, what would be differentiation and money in that? Why do you want to comply with the rest of the world when you can try to define the rest of the world and be a market leader?

Lets just stereotype and define 2 groups of people
* market leaders
* market adopters

Generally, who would you admire most? The market leader who takes the risks, makes mistakes and develops a proprietary system that we end-users need to pay big bucks for?

Or, the market adopter which watch the market leaders, learn from their mistakes, develop standards to make the world a better place? That doesn't sound quite right, but we'd just move on for now.

If money makes the world go round, it is no wonder that big price tag items like wars and market leader solutions and all the integration programs associated with these solutions are so popular. And the sad part is most companies do not want to pay for these, but are forced to.

Truth is that corporate systems aren't always a bad thing, on the people aspect and priceless aspect, they offer an opportunity to change culture which as you know is one of the harder things to change if the right product is selected and correctly implemented.

One question never asked is how do you want your company to behave at the end of the implementation? If you asked clients what they want, they will say, I want a 20% increase in output and a 10% decrease in costs. They do not say, "I think we want to have a culture of knowledge and information sharing and world peace." At least its not on the top of their piority list. Its all about the financials isn't it?

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